Seems a lot was rustiness. I totally even missed Tidal Rush being a more physical rush option in the early direction. And heck, some of it here could be that too. I'll blather anyway.
I'd say too many good options is always a nice aim for, though it's nice when they slice naturally into routes to guide folks (Sun Paladin and Brawler reworks do a good job on this front, as examples, while still having almost a lack of bad options).
So there are 3 options for early game move:
Rush being the sorta red herring over in the combat tree.
and Phase Door. Phase door pretty much being the right answer. I'd say moving Tidal Rush earlier would help it stand out, but water already has an important T2 sitting in it, with the first good heal option.
I glanced at the outdated wiki on talents, which is where I pulled my 3 from, having totally forgotten other spreads and just checked one at random.
Relegating Dex to a distant third, and completely ignoring the arcane veteran tree until late game has been a phenomenially more successful run. I will say for the game so far, I've never felt needy for stamina, mana seems to burn pretty easily. Possibly underweighted/cost on the stamina side, or vice versa? Highest stamina spends on the tree seem to top out around 30ish, early, while mana spends go into the 70s. With all the high cost mana sustains the class offers my mana isn't really outpacing my stamina.
I will say at this point:
Master Deflection is a pretty cool skill. Definitely though, the middle two options of the tree feel like they do need something more/different. I can't picture a time where I'd use Master Parry over an AoE attack, a teleport/phase door, or a shield. At 36 point entry, if there's enough enemies to make it worthwhile, at least some of them are casting magic. Maybe on nightmare or higher it just becomes a better answer to dangerous melee or if you build spellsword without heavy armor.
Arcane veteran almost is a trap. Even in this run, only the T2 seems like a smart investment really. I'm putting in points to Arcane Armor which numerically seems like it should be valuable, but I think that's ending up mostly being the fatigue bonus and that there aren't many enemies who see a real difference between 75 armor and 90ish in late which is when it reasonably would come in. I dunno, in hindsight, ignoring that tree to make more room for a racial would probably be my angle if I went non-cornac on this class. Maybe if it let you apply some of the armor against Magic attacks? I'm not quite sure where Martial Magic fits in on a build, aside from an emergency button. Sure seems to show up as a 1 point dip, which seems a shame for a tree capper. I guess its a way around the high mana cost abilities in a pinch?
On this successful run, excluding Master Deflection (which is awesome), the two class generic trees are my least invested ones. I'll probably fling more into Master of Weapons, but packing it into combat training and largely ignoring the generic trees seems like its been a winning move. That seems sad a bit. Definitely it feels unwise to put more than a point into master of weapons until heavily filling in Combat Accuracy, since that gives a much higher boost until late. It's a real different story over on the class talent tree, where almost every option is 'darn, well, I really should boost something else higher before I dip into that'. Across the board, the T3s are super interesting options, even overshadowing to a bit the T4s.
Edit: Weird suggestion: Remove dex as a suggested point entrance. Since its only needed for one main T3 talent and one optional (and cool) tree, it'd help new folks feeling out the class know magic and strength is where to go. Then again, all the classes go with 3.
Anyhow, I yammer primarily because I find it a really interesting and fun idea. I actually haven't played around with Arcane blade.
- auto-generated spoilers for ToME. - someone else made. I find super awesome, so spreading as well.